Dubhaine Family/Ciarghuala/Roleplays/1018/November

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1st November

Winter Evening -- Poryatu

Ansil Luitolf

As soon as he was done speaking with the house attendants and his personal scrivener, Ansil went to his room and quickly changed out of his traveling clothes and armor. Ansil was rarely home enough to have servants meant to dress him, and usually dismissed them when they tried anyway. He went and pulled out a blue woolen tunic, belted it at the waist over some woolen pants to match, and completed it with a dark cloak fastened with a brooch that depicted his family shield. After this, he ensured that his arms and armor were being polished and sharpened, and went to the study to go over the happenings while he was away.

There didn't seem to be much that happened in his absence, not that he expected much. Some monsters here and there that were quickly killed and delivered to the butcher for processing into meat as instructed. It seemed nothing major had happened, and he was glad to have been kept busy marshaling. Just as Ansil was starting to doze off, the herald entered.

"Sir Ansil, your guest, Dame Alya and Countess Tyra Adrasta have arrived." He said in a very formal voice. Dame Alya. Who is Dame Alya? Ansil thought to himself. I guess it doesn't matter, we have plenty to go around.

"Very well. See them to the dining area. Korinna had Edelyn dressed in her little white dress and red ribbon ages ago waiting, and I will head straight there to greet them as they enter as well. Besides, dinner should be served for use before to long." Ansil ordered, then turned and spoke again, "Also, you know I usually don't care for the stuff, but ensure the good wine is out and available along with the water and ale. We wouldn't want to disappoint titled nobility no, would we? I'm already going to feed her monster meat."

2nd November

Winter Day -- Poryatu

Veronica Gardarr

Ciarin Tut

It had been a few weeks since Ciarin Tut was cleared of the Monsters roaming the country side. After the fall of her makeshift encampment and fortifications and her near death experience at the hands of the foul beast, Veronica had lost something.


For once she was naive in her believes but now she knew better, those that tried to warn her where right to do so. This land was invested with foul creatures that needed to be put down at any cost.

With the Winter cold tugging at her, shivering she pulled her cloak tight, she was standing at the toll bridge between Ciarin Tut and Garuck Udor helping some officials in collecting tariffs and inspecting goods for contraband.

With her presence and that of her soldiers providing security, the toll bridge was in peak operation, resulting in faster flow of goods and people eager to return home after the violence.

She noticed Mikael as he made his way closer, he was being accompanied by a messenger. Mikael instructed him to wait a few feet away as he approached her. “Milady, a messenger wearing the crest of the Countess Kaguya Fujiwara” Veronica studied the messenger before saying “You may approach” Mikael stepped to her side an arm’s length away; she studied him with some annoyance but did not call him out.

“Dame Gardarr, I bare a letter from the Countess Kaguya Fujiwara” bowing slightly he offered her the letter.

Veronica took the letter and carefully opening it she started reading. “The Countess is too kind. Mikael, I believe we have done what we could at the bridge, we will be heading to the Countess Estate on her invitation. Strike camp and inform the officials we will be departing for Nishi Sagarifuji-dono.“

“Yes Milady” Veronica noticed he was still lingering and his eyes never left the messenger as he spoke to her. Tapping the letter on her lips she spoke to the messenger. “You will of course take my reply to the Countess”

“So I was instructed to do if it was required Dame Gardarr” he replied. “Very well then I will pen a reply, you will have it within the hour, until then get yourself a hot meal, you are dismissed”

Veronica’s eyes followed Mikael as he escorted the messenger, with a sigh she pulled her cloak tight around her and stared at the distant ships on the horizon.

Emyhr le Craint

With a creak of the floorboards, the sound of small feet rushing through the hallway, Emyhr pushed through the heavy and rotting oak door of his new home. The manor had been left empty and mismanaged for quite some time, the locals that Emyhr has spoke to all said the same thing.

"That place is dangerous, none go near that place no more. Some say you hear noises from deep within."

Of course, none of this mattered to Emyhr. His desire for a new home would not be stopped by some petty rumours. As the door swung open, the stale air brushed past Emyhr forcing him to hold his hand to his nose. The stench of rotting wood and animal faeces was greater than expected. He reached for his back pocket and produced a handkerchief, wrapping it around his mouth and nose, he continued in. With each step came another loud creak and the rushing of feet as rats scurried across the floor. The further he stepped away from the door, the darker it got. Before long, he could see nothing but a few feet in front of him. Reaching out, he carefully continued down the hallway, clinging to the wall as paint began to crumble from the wall with every passing of his hands.

He entered into a large hall, small cracks in the boarded up windows allowed for light to pierce through. In a corner, a pile of tables and chairs had been hastily moved almost as if they have been blown back across the room by a great force. Emyhr walked up and studied the tables and chairs, gently caressing each table leg and chair leg before snapping off the sturdiness piece with a quick motion. Finding a scrap of fabric he wrapped it around the table leg and doused it in alcohol from his flask, finally lighting it. Illuminating the room, Emyhr could get a better look at the hall. It was a mess. sprays of dried blood adorned the floor and walls, a small pile of bones that had been picked clean by the rats had been assembled into a horrifying looking nest.

Shrugging this off, Emyhr continued down the hallway. With the light, he could see that the mess continued down the hall way. Signs of struggles and fighting were a common sight in the west but this was particularly gruesome. As he continued, he noticed that the trails of blood seemingly stopped in front of a blank wall. Pressing himself against it, apart from peeling paint and crumbling walls, he could feel a slight breeze coming from underneath. With a quick motion, Emyhr kicked at this patch in the wall, with little effort the crumbling wall collapsed revealing a hidden tunnel and the continuation of blood. Carefully continuing, he stepped into the tunnel. It was only a short tunnel but as the air was thick and still, the smell of the crumbling house was replaced by a strange mix of smells... Red Wine... Ale.... Blood..., Not something Emyhr had smelt before, carefully he continued.

The tunnel opened into a large basement complex, barrels lining the walls untouched compared to the rest of the manor. The smell of the wine, ale and blood was stronger than before. As he stepped further and further, the complex continued deeper and deeper into the ground. Once again, he came to a dead end. Taking initiative, he proceeded to kick the stone wall again. This time however there was no movement, only a throbbing pain in his leg, then the silence was broken by movement, then a large clash of stone against the floor as Emyhr caught sight of a troll breaking through some of the barrels as it began to charge towards him. Drawing his morning star, Emyhr rushed into a comfortable position before realising that he was not wearing his armour. He let out a large sigh and began to rush between the gaps in the barrels, the freedom of movement would be his advantage and his bane.

Rounding a corner, he came to a large open area. Adjusting the grip on his morning star, he waited. Before long, the low growl of the troll greeted the knight as the troll moved towards him. Without a second thought, Emyhr rushed forward, swinging his morning star. The beast let out a large yelp as it collided with the side of his head. But it still stood strong, now only more enraged. It reached out, grabbing Emyhr and throwing him across the room into a pile of barrels, a splatter of wine sprayed across the room and onto Emyhr. He smiled and stood up, once again rushing the beast. This time however, he ducked beneath the swing of its large arms sliding through its stubby legs across the stone floor. Leaping up onto its back and bringing the morning star down on his head once again. With a loud crack, the beast fell to the ground.

Wiping the sweat off his forehead, he began to drag the beast along through the tunnels, placing a large barrel into the folds of the trolls thick hide. He thought to himself.

"Im gonna need a drink after this." Smiling he continued up the stairs.

November 6th

Spring Evening -- Poryatu

Luarin Bowker

The last block was in the place for the new wall in Shinnen.

Luarin ordered to put her name on it, but she was not sure iff this was a good idea. Luria was not a empire anymore but four small realms struggling to survive the attacks of monsters and undeads that insist and get out of their graves.

Aldrakar was missing, presumed dead. Cador's men were in Shinnen for a few days but she could not see him even when she asked for a personal meeting. Excuses an excuses were given by his men so she was afraid he was already dead.

"What will happen to Luria" she whispered to herself before going outside to try to talk to Cador one more time.

Alessio de Medici

Alessio and his eldest son, Luca, faced one another in the courtyard, the adolescent equipped with gladius and tower shield, Alessio holding just a sword.

"My son, keep your shield high, it will save your life. I cannot say I'm the best fighter, but I at least know something." with which he swung at the shield twice, knocking the boy back, though he did not fall. Instead, he used his size to charge into the grown man with his shield, swinging down the practice sword towards his neck, hitting the stone ground inches away. Even the servants passing the courtyard had slowed their duties to watch the thirteen year old boy beat a mean nearly a score and a half in a duel.

After the moment had passed and the workers had returned to their duties - which was only perhaps five or ten seconds - Luca threw the shield to the ground and extended an arm to his father, smiling. While not initially mutual, the man broke out into laughter, not even reaching for the hand. It was nothing short of hysteric cackling. Before long, he did indeed reach for the hand, getting off of the ground.

"My son, the day this day is both proud and embarrassing. The day that my son can beat me in a fight. It is settled, in three years you are going abroad as have my brothers and cousins. You will arrive for your sixteenth birthday, I do not doubt. I will have our dear Sevastian and Imperial Marshal Guide across the Euschean groom you to be the finest general that has come out of Luria. One day, you will return to take my place. Where you will go, I cannot say - but I am certain that you will do me proud. Prouder than you have just now. "

Bewildered, the boy - perhaps he was truly more man now - looked to his father. He had thought that his place would always be at his side, never in a foreign land. He mustered some words to reply, "Truly, father? I had not thought this would ever come to be. Are you so sure? If you do become Dux, or Emperor, will you not need me?"

Alessio smiled, placing his hands upon his son's shoulders. "I will and I already do. You will learn whatever I can teach you before you leave. No doubt I can teach you no more when it comes to combat. In either of those events, you will be my eyes and ears in those lands, a representative not just of the House of Medici, but of the Lurian Empire. You will learn far more, forge a dynasty far wider, out there than in here."

The two met in a familial hug, before stepping back. "Now let us get to work."

November 7th

Spring Day -- Poryatu

Alessio de Medici

After a small morning celebration with his family that he is to be named the next Dux, Alessio, followed by his pregnant wife, triplets and infant, head out of their estate while servants begin packing to move back to the Medici family estate. They are soon caught up with by the rest of the immediate family - Alessio's parents, Niccolò and Catalina, Andrea's mother, Arcanzola, the childrens' favourite uncles, Gianfranceso and Corso. The line continues with Alessio's pairs of uncles and aunts, Marco and Giovanna, and Andreola and Ormanno. It ends with a line of servants who are no longer on packing up duty.

Arriving at the circus, the family spreads out amidst the other lesser nobles currently in attendance. Alessio takes the seat that he had planned to offer to Lord Cador, back when he was not only a King, but also the Dux. With luck, there were some other far more grand seating arrangements spread throughout the ring for the government members, the kings and their immediate families.

"Greetings, great Lurians! It is a pleasure to be in your lands on this day, after much travelling across the great seas - from the Eastern Continent and Southern Island, all the way to Beluaterra and the Colonies, this grand circus finally comes to the heart of Dwilight itself! Over the next two days, expect to be nothing short of shocked, surprised and enraptured by our tricks - are they magic? Maybe if it is legal! Settle in while we wait for the rest of our nobles to arrive before our opening speech and timetable! From there we begin with the first act - stacking animals!"

Alessio de Medici

"Great Lurians, I do hope you are all here! Welcome to Mergo's Not-So Magical Circus! We open the circus today with the magnificent animal stacking!"

And as the ringmaster spoke, the circus freaks - bearded ladies, giant men, dwarves and the like - began bringing out animals one by one. First was an elephant, brought to the middle of the ring, followed by a lion and a tiger sitting upon its back, each muzzled and giant sacks over their paws. Then picked upon were wolves, foxes, deer, rabbits, rats, birds - and as more animals were added to the mad pile, the circus freaks starting juggling and pushing around giant wheels and eating fire - a grand, overwhelming opening if ever there was one.

Spring Evening -- Poryatu

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

In Outer Giask - a few days before the circus

Tyra and Alya were taken to the dining room, where a child and her caretaker were already waiting for them. The girl was young, probably around 8 years old, with soft, cute features and a red bow on her hair.

Tyra couldn't hide her air of suspicion. How would a girl like that take on the trip north? Or around the known world? Yet her father was Ansil... And Ansil was one of hers. She approached the girl and greeted her with a nod of her head. "Hello, daughter of Ansil. I am his former Marshal, you can call me Tyra Thunderborn. What is your name?"

Alya by her side seemed torn between squeezing the girl or testing her swordskill.

November 9th

Spring Day -- Poryatu

William Fitz Roberts


William stood on the cliffs overlooking the newly renovated harbour, watching the merchants busily unloading their wares. The last few months had been exceptionally busy for him, for he had been working tirelessly to improve the city, repairing sewers, fixing errors in bureaucracy etc. There had been a minor interruption with the Alywin incident, but since he had been back he had been working in earnest.

The former Noble Manor square had been transformed and only recently renamed to become the Piazza Sacra delle Scaglie Celesti, home of the temple to the Celestial Scales, the new religious quarter of the city, a centre of spirituality. He had begun work on the simple stone tower that was called White Hall, supposedly the city’s castle. One day it would become a grand white citadel, imposing Poryatun will on the surrounding countryside, but now it was a building site. He had at last finished construction of the campus of the University of Dwilight in the Essenhorn Tome Hall district. He saw it fitting that the place that already held so many archives should become a centre of learning. But it was where he was standing that there had been the most drastic changes. The old slums of Little Poryatown had been cleared and in their place were now the workshops of artisans, sculptors and painters and just behind him was the Piazza Volpes itself, the largest square in the city. He had been working on his palace for months and he intended it to rival even the Imperial palaces of Giask and Askileon. Some would call it hubris, even arrogance, but he did not care. He intended to show off the largesse and sophistication of the family that unofficially held the motto ‘Blood and Beauty’. He felt that there had been too much blood and not enough beauty these recent months.

His chief architect stood behind him, debating heatedly with the foreman some minor detail about exactly where a statue was supposed to have been placed. He turned back to them ‘I think this is the ideal spot for the veranda, don’t you think?’ He smiled as they nodded and returned to their argument. Looking around at all he had achieved he stretched out his arms and let out a bellow of laughter that carried on the wind, the violent spray of the sea catching in his mouth. His people looked up to him, smiles on their faces. They were pleased that at last William seemed to be happy again

Ansil Luitolf

Edelyn, the young girl, looked up at Tyra as she approached. She had already been given the dagger her father brought home for her, however, the amulet was nowhere to be seen. Her father had spoken much of Tyra, how she had taught him some of the ways of Luria, and that she was well respected in the realm.

"My name is Edelyn." She said simply, still looking up at the Countess.

ahem "That is not how you have been taught to greet your superiors, Edelyn." Ansil stated after clearing his through from across the room. "At least that is not how *I* taught you. Does Korinna need to be punished for teaching you different?"

Edelyn's greyish green eyes widened at her father's voice, and she quickly bowed to show proper respect. "Of course not, I was just mistaken. Forgive me."

Ansil looks from his daughter to the Countess and gave his own cursory, but respectful bow, "Lady Tyra, It has been a while. I am sure you remember why I called you here. Sit and let us discuss the matter further" He said while looking back at Edelyn "You to, come, let us sit at the table. The food will be served shortly." It was obvious the lecture was more to teach Edelyn proper etiquette and less about worrying that Tyra actually required it.

"Lady Tyra, quick and to the point. I know Edelyn appears young, but that is why I want her to go. I know she can handle herself When I was not too much older than her, I was dealing with beasts and beings the likes of which Luria can only dream of. They made your monsters look like nothing more than adolescent pups. I have seen her trained in the same way as I was, against monsters here on this very ground. I want Edelyn to experience more than just Luria and their made thirst for personal power. She needs more than this to grow into a fine young woman." he stated as servants began to place food upon the table.

The food placed was normal for Luria. The side dishes anyway. Thought the meat was obviously not of common stock. When placed in the center, the meat was black on the outside as if it had been burned, but the center was pink as a rose. "Good. I said the food would be ready soon. I promised you a monster feast, my lady, I do hope you enjoy."

10th November

Spring Evening -- Poryatu

Alessio de Medici

"Prince Luca, you leave tonight. I have made arrangements for you in the Eastern Continent. I cannot teach you to be the man you need to be, I do not possess the necessary skills and knowledge. Granted, there are those that do. You are to leave Giask, to leave Dwilight, and lead the way for our family, our Empire, abroad. There will be no excuses for failure. Learn and one day, you will succeed me. Though, if you are far too content out there, you have sisters, a brother, another on the way, even." Alessio places his hands on his son's shoulders, as they overlook the Euschean from the family estate.

"Two years is what it took for you, father. To go from a glorified merchant like the rest of the Medicis all the way to becoming Dux of Luria Ferrata. Perhaps a son should not be proud of his father, it is odd, unusual. Look after Mother for me. And the girls, and Michelangelo. And do write me of the newborn. I have prepared gifts for my new liege and my ruler. Who could turn down the son of one of the rulers of the world's largest and greatest Empire?" chuckled the young prince, scratching his cheek, to which his father ruffles his hair.

"You will do me proud, son. Far prouder than you already have. You are a Medici, have no doubts about your superiority, but do not let it get in the way of your learning. Find faith, it will bring you power. Find friends, they will bring you influence. More importantly, find yourself and forge a legacy where I cannot. My place is here, Luca, and perhaps yours will be one day, too. For now, Castle Ubent awaits. Goodbye, Luca. I love you."

"And I love you, Babbo."

With that, the Prince walked down to the dock, seeing his two sisters, his fellow triplets, embracing them in warm hugs. He saw his mother right by the dock, holding their one year old while heavily pregnant. Luca always suspected she was carrying more than one baby, but she insisted it was just one - and Andrea was always right. With a mother's kiss and teary eyes watching, he boarded the boat, waving to his family.

Luca's time in Giask had come to an end, now he had to find his own place in the world. All the while, his father has a realm to tend to.

11th November

Spring Evening -- Poryatu

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

Tyra had been pleased to see the 8 year old carried a dagger, and smiled openly at her even after Ansil's scolding. Before they sat down, she greeted him with a companionable look. The countess knew he was a kindred spirit, and was happy she had left the army in his hands, despite the rocky beginning.

She sat at the table with her 15 year old ward by her side, and it seemed Ansil had missed Alya's presence entirely as he went on and on about travels and monsters and skills.

"Lady Tyra, quick and to the point. I know Edelyn appears young, but that is why I want her to go. I know she can handle herself When I was not too much older than her, I was dealing with beasts and beings the likes of which Luria can only dream of. They made your monsters look like nothing more than adolescent pups. I have seen her trained in the same way as I was, against monsters here on this very ground. I want Edelyn to experience more than just Luria and their made thirst for personal power. She needs more than this to grow into a fine young woman." he stated as servants began to place food upon the table.

Tyra chuckled. "Marshal Ansil, too quick and to the point! Let me introduce you my ward, Dame Alya... Renodin." She had quickly made her mind that she could trust him. "Though I'll most often introduce her as Alya, ward of House Bluelake. She has quite a skillset herself, though probably raised less ruthlessly than you and I... She has a lot to learn about being stealth and not drawing attention from the beasts... But she fights well, I'll give her that. And she hasn't complained even once while we were imprisoned by monsters... These are fundamental things in a travel companion."

Alya was slightly shocked with the string of compliments for a moment, then blushed and smiled to herself. Then she turned to the girl before her and whispered: "Do you think you can be quiet and resilient when a monster is breathing on your neck? If you can, this is the biggest adventure we could ever hope for before we're old like them..."

The food placed was normal for Luria. The side dishes anyway. Thought the meat was obviously not of common stock. When placed in the center, the meat was black on the outside as if it had been burned, but the center was pink as a rose. "Good. I said the food would be ready soon. I promised you a monster feast, my lady, I do hope you enjoy." The countess smiled in a savage fashion, looking more like the wild teen she had been in Beluaterra than the shieldmaiden she became in Luria. "This looks delicious... which species is it?"

"Species...? Lady Tyra, you... he means... Marshal Ansil, you mean... this is actual monster...? What are you, a barbarian?"

19th November

Spring Evening -- Poryatu

Ansil Luitolf

About a week ago

As Tyra introduced her ward, after having told him to slow down, Ansil couldn't help but notice the pause between the wards first and last name.

Renodin, Ansil thought to himself while looking at the young lady, Is there something special about that name? Something I should recognize? While continuing to listen to Tyra speak further about the lady. She did certainly seem impressive. This pair would do well in teaching Edelyn about Dwilight. He decided to let the name go for now.

As Ansil turned his attention back to Tyra, he noticed Alya turn to Edelyn and speak something about being quiet and resilient in the face of monsters and adventures. Then he sees Edelyn look up to the other girl, "Monsters aren't that scary. I play with them sometimes, and we eat them. I've been told stories of something called daimons. Smart monsters that can talk, and they eat peoples souls, too!"

Ansil smiled at the short exchanges between the girls and went to answer Tyra's question about what sort of monster it was. "Lady Tyra, I do believe this monster was called Nandi. It was about the size of a bear. It preys on humans and livestock. Now it is our dinner instead." He said before turning his attention back to Alya, "And Dame Alya, you should fear Barbarians more than the monsters themselves. Those daimons my daughter speaks up were defeated by mere barbarians. Now eat up, there is nothing wrong with this."

"It seems the girls get on well. In fact, based on what I've seen, Edelyn seems like she might be even braver than Alya. At least she's not afraid to eat what tries to eat her." He spoke with a sly grin on his face. "What say you, Lady Tyra?"

20th November

Spring Night -- Poryatu

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

Tyra cocked her head and looked at girl, wondering. "Well, Sir Ansil, you know very well that lack of fear isn't the same as bravery... Nor is bravado. I suppose I'll get to find out."

She smiled warmly, bit a piece of Nandi, and chewed slowly. "This tastes really good for a meat eater!" Then continued. "Being familiar with them is certainly a plus, uprooting the irrational fears. She is younger than I expected... How good is she with that dagger?"

24th November

Summer Day -- Poryatu

Medrawt Camlann

Bard Eoghan had a new tune on his lips.

Ballad of the Brave

Westgard was a bulwark against the Monster Horde,

Shoulder to shoulder with great men, her soldiers fought and fought, But as the Horde began to fade and the darkness die,

The battlements began to chant a deafening cry,

“We won, we won, Westgard has won the war!

Westgard shall be defenders of man forevermore!

We won, we won - we fought them one to ten!

None shall ever hear of bravery like this again!”

As the Monsterous foes did leave for other lands,

Unable to pass the Stone Walls of the Virtued Hallowed Lands,

The Valiant of Westgard’s men passed sword from old to young,

The Gilded Halls of Gelene a rousing song was sung,

“We won, we won, Westgard won the war!

Westgard are defenders of men forevermore!

We won, we won, we fought them one to ten!

None will ever hear of bravery like that again!”

Time had passed, legends past, and old history remained,

Westgard were the Monster Slayers in Dwilight they did claim,

But as the Monster threat began to slowly die upon the West,

Rosalind, o’Rosalind, her sword she wished to test!

“We won, we won! Westgard won the war!

We still remain as grand and strong as we were before!

Although the history of our name begins to fade,

On my word and by my sword there’ll be bravery again!”

Her greedy and unreasonable eyes did turn to the Beast,

Upon Westgard’s long time allies and friends ‘pon the East,

“Should we take a war to them and show our growing Might?”

“No”, she cried, wet herself, and sang this song in fright,

“We won, we won! Westgard won the war!

But I do not think we can remain as mighty as before!

We won, we won, but we might not win again!

Let’s just stay right here and defend all men instead!”

But from the dark of the Western Guard, came a slithering Snake,

Lady Selena Chenier, a grand witch she would make,

Sneakily, she took control o’er the weaker Queen,

And with a vicious Siren’s song, to her court she begun to preen,

“We won, we won! Westgard won the war!

I think I have a nasty plan to win just like before!

We do not fight a stronger realm like Avernus or Astrum,

We instead war a weaker realm and fight them ten to one!”

Rosalind, o’Rosalind, she racked her tiny brain,

As the Court of Wester’Gard called for chance at fame,

“I like your plan, o’wicked one, but a question I must speak,

Of all of Dwilights Realms, which shall be most weak?”

“We won, we won!” The Court of Westgard cried!

“Against the Monster Horde our Fathers fought and died!

Defenders of all of Man was the title we did earn,

But an easy war, easily fought is for what we now do yearn!”

The Court of Wester’Gard did plot and plan with glee,

But no matter how they searched, no weaker realm did see,

“But look to Golden Farrow!” the Wicked Witch did cry,

For a new and burgeoning Nation, a flag began to fly!

“We won! We won! Westgard won the war!

The puppet Queen will spin her lies like many times before!

Our wicked Witch will bang her drum of warmongering, and then

We’ll take the Gylded City and be brave again!”

And so the brave of Westgard upon the shores did land,

Under the falsehood pretence of a diplomatic hand,

And gave the Tol Goldoran’s three days of which to flee,

But attacked them on the second day and took the Old City!

“We won! We Won! Westgard won the War!

Defenders of Humanity will spread our power far!

We won, we won! We fought them ten to one!

So brave are we Westgardians, for you next we come!”

26th November

Summer Morning -- Poryatu

Report from Ciarghuala Dubhaine to the Great Halls of Luria

I can confirm Dame Beryl's advice having made the trip from Eidulb to Golden Farrow to Giask and back on several occasions in my youth. If the Dragon Isles be with us then it's also possible to stopover and reprovision in D'Hara either at Port Nebel or Port Raviel.

Last time I ran that route Port Raviel was in the hands of a necromancer and my fleet were the survivors of a previous attempt to hold Golden Farrow. We reaved much gold from the necromancer and had some fine sport amongst the city's fleshpots which much improved our morale. Maybe not as noble a tale as the escort of King Fulco and the Crown of the Austere Star to exile here in Luria but one which still cheers my veterans when the winter snows lay heavy on Poryatu and the meadhorns are overflowing.

Perhaps were I Lurian born and bred I might feel some of the same indifference as Dame Bellatrix to the plight of Tol Goldora. Their colony is but young and the Inner Sea lies betwixt it and our great Empire. True, some of our kinsmen have joined that adventure - and it is an adventure, on that she is right. But that alone places no claim upon us.

However I am blood of the Western Lands, nurtured in the soils of Via and tempered in battle amongst the First Edreun of Niselur. Few of my people remain in Dwilight now: a handful of grizzled veterans, my youngest sister, perhaps a noble or two in other lands. What Westgard is doing to Tol Goldora is what in former times was done to us by the foul creatures they have so long claimed to withhold. Either their intent in the northwest was never the honest endeavour they claimed, or they have spent so long amongst the filth that it has besmirched their former honour.

And these claims that they alone have held back the darkness are preposterous. Who in Luria doesn't remember the wars of recent years? Have we not seen horde after horde break upon our borders, and have not our people cried tears unnumbered as we valiantly fought to keep civilization's brightest flame kindled? It was not the valour of Westgard which made the liberation of Golden Farrow possible but the devastating blows which we have struck against the encircling darkness, forcing those dark powers who sought to consume all Dwilight to concede their weakness and withdraw.

Imagine the consternation in those dread councils, the wailing and gnashing of teeth, the howls of fury, the achingly impotent malice, the dawning knowledge that whilst Luria stands so does Dwilight!

That is our doing my friends. Our arms. Our organisation. Our intransigence in the face of annihilation.

When I hear Westgard boast of its prowess and power I remember my fallen comrades, fallen on the ramparts of Gaston and Gelene and Golden Farrow, fallen on the pastures of Nid Tek and Santoo and Cadier and Sulorte. Their's were the sacrifices which saved Dwilight. And as I remember them I also remember that we are Luria, as whole today as when I first made landfall here, an exile, an adventurer, a rootless sellsword with nought to her name but the dignity of birth. I remember all that and my heart breaks for Tol Goldora, destroyed not for any fault of their own but for the arrogant claims of aliens settled where once true honour held sway.

Ciarghuala Dubhaine

Grand Panetier of Luria Nova

Duchess of Earth's Hall

Margravine of Poryatu

November 28th

Summer Day -- Poryatu

Alessio de Medici

Today is the day of the coronation, the day that Alessio truly becomes Emperor of Luria. In three years he had gone from a noble merchant in his family's shop in Giask all the way to the Emperor of the largest Empire in the world. In years to come, this would surely be a tale to tell, though for now he awaited the presence of the lesser nobility and the Highborn in his estate in Giask.

Summer Evening -- Nid Tek

Tyra Andrasta Bluelake

Zhou Tai got off the boat, Drake on his heels, Iris and Wylla right behind them. They hadn't had a chance to attend Emperor Nicholas's coronation, but with Tyra being away, these Bluelakes would represent the family.

They secured rooms at a lower noble's manor, and soon, all were ready. A carriage was called and took them to the Imperial Palace.

The courtroom was full, beautifully decorated, and a herald was taking note of the names of everyone who wanted to present themselves to the new Emperor. Zhou Tai gave their names and they sought a place to watch. Drake was happy. His sisters had greeted him almost like a man, not half the jokes they usually made.

Wylla seemed older, more beautiful, and Iris was making jokes about her being in love, which made Drake blush and turn to the other side. Zhou Tai was proud of his cousins. Drake would be the next Head of House in case he didn't have his own heir... And since Mary Anne had gone overseas, he felt like he never would. Wylla just hoped Sir Titos would show up. Iris... As usual, Iris was beautiful and proper, nothing like her playful twin, all similarities to her grandmother were uncanny to see. She talked to merchants and nobility, children and elders, a comment here and a greeting there... Zhou Tai felt she should be the heir. But she didn't want it.

Music filled the hall and the thousand voices stopped to watch. It was time.

Grayson Lancaster

Flags whipped in the breeze along the road to Giask. The purple and blue pennants were large, larger than Grayson expected. From their lofted height above the stone road, they towered over the travelers making their way to and from the grand capital of the Empire. They had been Grayson’s companion for so long as he traveled the endless miles that he had almost forgotten their presence. Still, they loomed over him and his retinue as they made their way to the coronation.

When he originally set out from Flowerstown, Grayson had felt he brought a suitable accompaniment for the occasion. He knew he could not bring his full army with him, distance and propriety easily dissuaded him of the notion, but still he felt he must make a suitable representative for his Republic. And yet, as he entered Lurian territory, he felt that he could have brought more. Surely a dozen attendants and guards were enough, but even now he saw merchants and minor nobility with larger houses making their way to the city. They were dressed in all manner of colors, each outfit and crest more eye-catching than the last.

Grayson looked over his own entourage. Most wore the white and red of his house, but more than a few guards and clerks wore standard red and black colors of the Republic. They were clerks and guards of the court, set to follow him on this important occasion. It’s not every day that a new Emperor is crowned, he was told. Truthfully, he would have rather stayed in Fatexna or Flowrestown, looking over maps and dispatches from around the Republic. Tensions with Arnor and Avernus were at a high point, and now chaos and war in the west. Still, he and the Council felt that someone should be present at such an event, and so he issued whatever standing orders he could and then left his homeland behind.

From atop his horse, Grayson gazed out along the Lurian countryside. The land this close to Giask as lush, and fertile. Some hills dotted the landscape near the sea, but otherwise much was flat. There were villages and hamlets in all directions, orbiting Giask like planets around a star. Many peasants crowded the road to watch the travelers go past. As they went, the Swordfell delegation drew much interest from the peasants. This close to the capital, even the lowest class must have learned that Swordfell had joined their ever-burgeoning Empire. How disappointed they must be, Grayson thought, as they looked upon the white and red and black Fellish. Still, Grayson believed that the only way for this to work was for he and his retinue to be themselves. Swordfell was joining the Empire as an equal, and there was no shame in their culture.

It was still some miles from the city when Giask came into view. Vast towers and walls of towering marble took shape on the horizon as they rode along the coastal highway. Ships, many of them traveling towards the city, dotted the Euschean Sea. Grayson thought, idly, if the Empire would bother renaming it to the Lurian Sea at this point, as it was all that but in name.

As they approached the great colossal gate outside of Giask, a cadre of soldiers wearing the Emperor’s colors were waiting at the gate. An officer stepped up and bowed deeply.

“Welcome to Giask, my lord,” the officer said, returning to attention.

“Tell the Emperor that Swordfell has come,” Grayson said, spurring his horse onward towards the palace.

November 29th

Summer Day -- Askileon Purlieus

Alessio de Medici

The Medici Emperor had been in his chambers, ensuring that he and all his family were ready for the events of tonight. Constant couriers came in and out with matters regarding attendance, food, the blacksmith, guard patrols - all in addition to the usual affairs. The latest message to arrive, though, was that from Earl Grayson Lancaster, heralding news of Swordfell's arrival.

It was important to make his first public presentation to his people one that would not so easily be forgotten, and so the bards quickly changed their tunes upon hearing the news, playing a more dramatic song, as opposed to simple ballroom tunes. Hand-in-hand with his heavily pregnant wife, Emperor Alessio, without crown but in ceremonial robes, descended the staircase. Behind him, his two daughters, though finally Aunt Andreola carrying their nearly two year old son.

"Presenting, the Emperor of Luria!" announced the herald, who had apparently been neglecting his duty when the Bluelakes and Earl Lancaster arrived.

By the time he had reached the bottom of the stairs, the music had taken on a more peaceful melody again, as he waved to the crowd of mostly lesser nobility ahead - he had no doubt many were busy taking care of war business. He did not recognise either the Earl or the Bluelake family in attendance, and so kept within close range of the imperial guards - perhaps the Ordo Leonis would need return after all.

Summer Evening -- Askileon

Grayson Lancaster

It had been a long time since Grayson had attended a ball or an official ceremony. He had held his titles for some time, and even his naming of Archmarshal was an expedient affair during the fall of Crixus. Still, even if there had been a ceremony, Grayson knew it would have paled in comparison to the sight around him.

Grayson had watched as the new Emperor, Alessio, descended down the grand staircase. The man was younger than Grayson expected, perhaps close to hi own age. He was flanked by family, including a woman Grayson could only assume was the Emperor's wife. From his vantage point, the Archmarshal could tell that she was heavy with child. The Emperor seemed blessed with age, family, and title, Grayson thought.

The lower nobility were already lining up to pay homage to the Emperor as he reached the bottom of the stairs. Some others, of higher station Grayson supposed, were in other discussions, most likely about the potential war. Although Giask was a large city, Grayson still could see the signs of a people on the eve of war. Soldiers were more common, the sound of smiths' hammers reverberated around the city, and all moved with a sense of purpose. It reminded the general of Flowrestown on the eve of the great expeditions to Arnor.

Shaking himself from the thought of his homeland and the war, Grayson took care to steel himself for what would come next. At the insistance of the realm's ambassadors, he had taken care of his appearance before arriving at the event. His face was clean-shaven, and his hair closely cropped to his skull. Over his white chainmail, he wore a red tabard, with the black dragon of Swordfell on the right side of his chest, and the Lurian crest on the left. In the center of the tabard, was a white sword, point up. The symbol of his house with the colors reversed. In Grayson's opinion it was a bit gaudy, but he was used to his heavy armor and supposed that this occasion required armor of a different sort.

He began to move toward the Emperor, and could feel dozens of eyes of guards and nobles alike turn to look as he walked with purpose. Grayson ignored the other minor nobles who surrounded the Emperor. As he approached, the guards moved closer to the Emperor, and especially the Empress.

"Your Imperial Majesty," Grayson began, bowing slightly. His voice tinged with the slight rasp from issuing orders on the battlefield. "I offer you the humblest greetings from the Republic of Swordfell, and my personal gratitude for an invitation to your coronation."

Grayson stood up straight, but noticed that the Imperial Guards did not move an inch from the royal family.

Kelindun Orobar

Kelindun arrived late to the ceremony, just as he intended. An impressive crowd had already gathered to witness this special event, making The Great Hall feel oddly small. All these people made it easy to blend in and stay unnoticed. Perhaps someone here would remember what he did on a previous occasion, the Ball in Dantooine. Unlikely, as it happened a while ago, still it was wise to stay in the shadows.

No, Kelindun wasn't keen on these public displays of wealth and power. While everyone here prepared for a night of celebrations, his men were at the harbour, getting ready to set sail to an unknown, most likely bloody future. This time though, he felt obliged to be present. There were lots of positive rumours surrounding the man about to become Emperor. He had seen plans for the future of the Lurian Empire. He wanted to see this man with his own eyes. He could read people well, so he was here to make his judgement.

After some light elbow work, he found a spot among the lesser nobility from where he could follow the coronation. As soon as a herald announced the Emperor, the crowd fell silent, collectively holding their breath in anticipation. A man, quite young, made his entrance, followed by his household. As he approached, he looked around, and for a brief moment his eyes met Kelindun's. That was all the introverted Earl needed. He could tell the man was intelligent, but above all, he sensed determination. Willingness to do what was needed to advance the Lurian Empire.

As the crowd pushed forward to meet and greet the Emperor, Kelindun made his way out, satisfied with what he learned. He went to the kitchen to arrange some of the food and drinks to be sent to his unit. Once this was taken care of, he went over his plans for the rest of the evening one last time. He would return to the Great Tall, where he would mingle discretely with the nobility. Time would pass, allowing people to get drunk, letting their guard down. He was certain a moment would come where he could approach the Emperor alone. He wondered how the man would react to his sharp little gift, carefully hidden deep inside his pockets.

Byron Dupont

Byron stepped off at the docks and made his way towards the palace. Being of the same build, he was able to wear his brother's ceremonial clothes, minus any marks of office his brother previously wore; Byron had those, but naturally kept those as keepsakes. At his side he wore Benedict's personal ivory sword and scabbard, given to him the day before the duel.

As Byron approached entrance to the coronation he heard the commotion from the common folk; that the representative from Swordfell had made a scene at the gate.

'So my Lord Lancaster has already arrived', thought Byron. 'I had best make my way to the coronation then'.

He approached the gate to the palace, blocked by guards and attendants, and handed his invitation forward.

"Sir Byron, of house Dupont, no need for an announcement."

Once he was allowed inside, Byron found a suitable position, so that he may allow himself a suitable view of the occasion, yet avoid any unwelcome gazes.

30th November

Summer Day -- Askileon

Alessio de Medici

The Archmarshal's greeting brought a smile to the Emperor, and as he bowed, Alessio extended forward his ring finger, on it quite the marvel - large, forged of gold with an intricate pattern, with a large Musgravite gem set in the middle in a square shape.

"And we welcome the Republic of Swordfell with our heart's fullest embrace. It is a pleasure to have the Republic already here, so soon after joining. As soon as the idea of being new members is lost and simple being of the Empire is attained, the problem will cease to exist. You wear your colours well, friend. Have you a name? Lisa, take your mother to the lounge - Lena, fetch us Ciarin wine, and then see to that family," he says, pointing to the Bluelakes in attendance, "And Meursault, keep an eye on that man who just left, but only an eye.

Alessio stroked his beard, gazing around the hall. He noticed the outfit of the late Benedict Dupont on a new face, and was thus struck with confusion. It would only be reasonable to wave him over, and that he did without word."

Ansil Luitolf

Ansil had just recently had to recruit a brand new unit to march to war with. With this came a brand new Captain that Ansil had never seen in action before, Captain Luther. This captain had come highly recommended with the unit, but Ansil never was one to trust just words.

  • This new captain had better be as good as Erhart. If not, I will end him myself*, Ansil mumbled as he finally approached the coronation location.

From the outside, he could hear that the emperor has already been announced and that he was already addressing people. Cautious not to call attention to himself, Ansil hushed the guards at the door and presented his proof of invitation. One of the guards tried to bar the way, "The ceremony is about..." he started to whisper before Ansil pushed past him and found himself a spot quietly in the back as he was not in the mood to be addressing guards.

Byron Dupont

Byron looked around the room, and was taken aback by the eyes of the Emperor staring back at him. He wasted no time in accepting Alessio's silent invitation, and made his way towards the Emperor with swift purpose.

He descended onto one knee, keeping his head down before the Emperor.

"Your Imperial Highness, my name is Byron Dupont, younger brother of Benedict Dupont, at your service as a noble of the Republic of Swordfell".

Alessio de Medici

As Byron introduces himself, Alessio extends his hand to Byron. "Rise," he says, "I had noticed the armour, I was hoping you would be Byron and not a gravedigger or the like. It is certainly a most wonderful thing to have you here, friend. How is Swordfell?"

Alessio notices Ansil's quiet arrival, though turns his attention back to the Fellish Dupont.

Summer Evening -- Askileon

Ciarghuala Dubhaine

"I do love the docks in High Summer," Em tilted her head slightly as she watched the massive trade ships bobbing on the tide in the Upper Pool and the barges hurrying too and fro on the Grand Royal Canal, that silver artery connecting the Docks with the tidal waters of the Euschean Sea. All about them the air was heavy with the bustle of commerce and the rough, salty dialect of bargees and chandlers, stevedores and dockers and all manner of honest labour.

"They're certainly a sight to behold," Ciarghuala signed the vellum manifest she'd been studying with a quick flourish and handed quill and document back to the first officer of The Heart of Oak, confirming completion of the audit she'd spent the morning conducting, and dismissed him with a practiced salute.

"Sometimes I despair dearest. How did such a dreadful landlubber ever become a notorious buccaneer?" Em had slipped into the private language she'd long ago taught her companion, arching a quizzical eyebrow as she gave that look over the frame of her smoke-black sunglasses.

"The same way a mudlark became a Lady I suppose," the couple shared a brief smile, each long since intimately acquainted with the strange twists of fate which had brought them together all those years ago in the stews of Giask, the proud privateer and the curious tourist from a far off land.

"This mudlark worries that you might not return this time," it was said with cool indifference but they both knew there was genuine danger in this latest venture, on the seas and on the distant fields of Tol Goldura.

"If you would face death daughter, you must do so as death. Become the mirror in which he sees his own reflection, and make him shudder for the fear of you."

"Your mother's wisdom."

"My mother's consolation."

"It's not the happiest of thoughts Ciara."

"True. If my mother was ever light-hearted it was long before I knew her. However the aphorism has stood me in good stead."

There was a long pause and the ladies stood arm-in-arm, the Queen in her green brigandine and her companion in three-quarter length denim, an off-the-shoulder blouse and silk scarf decorated with scenes of another port city in some foreign land.

"So is everything in order with the expedition?" Em was the first to break the silence.

"Well, we could do with a couple more knights to join us, but yes apart from that everything's sorted. I've secured four ships: The Heart of Oak, Aldrakar's Pride, The Sea Witch, and The Lady of Sulorte which are all fine armed cogs with ample room for troops and supplies. I've also spoken with the captains of Dawning Tide and Euschean Mist and they're happy enough to join us for a goodly sum of gold should we get more volunteers. Each one is a sound vessel and should get us there in one piece."

The last time the Queen of Earth's Hall had prepared an expedition to the Western Continent was three decades earlier, an energetic young freebooter commanding her own ships, clinker-built dragon hulls from the great haven of Eidulb in the far north, all brightly-coloured square rigging and wave-polished timbers. Could that venture have survived as Tol Goldora now sought to survive? She still had vivid memories of its final despairing hours, leading the rearguard in fierce hand-to-hand skirmishes as panic-stricken civilians and the remnant of the garrison streamed to the harbour and the waiting evacuation barges. Ciarghuala couldn't help but empathise with the hopeful settlers of Tol Goldora whose dreams were even now being snatched from them.

By all accounts the Host of Westgard was a mighty mustering but a match to the Horde which had swept the West clean of human settlement? Hardly. These were mortal men, doomed to die if sufficient force could be speedily mustered. All now hinged on how many of the Eastern realms answered the desperate pleas for help.

"I'll likely be away until Winter at the earliest so you're the Lady of Poryatu in my absence. Don't let anyone give you grief, especially not Threiginion."

"I won't. Though I doubt your sister will cause me anywhere near the trouble you do."

"Yes, well, I know how easily she wraps you around her little finger Em."

"If you mean I spoil her, well perhaps I do. Does it make you jealous?"

"Perhaps, a little."

"Then as you're done with business beloved how about we go have a little fun to assuage your hurt ego?" and slipping her hand into the Queen's, Emily squeezed it tight and drew her into the crowded streets of the city.